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Whose rights are they, anyway?

We are in a major identity crisis right now, both individually and as a nation. Gun violence has reached absurd levels, yet instead of condemning the attacks, our politicians are turning this situation into a defense of rights, arguably to keep the affections of 2nd Amendment zealots who feel that any adjustments or modifications are an affront to their god-given rights of citizenship. Yet somehow the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness--the basic rights of citizens and even children to live in this country safely--is secondary to their rights to display and use weapons never designed for home/personal use and our political "leaders" are kowtowing to their egotistical needs. Oddly, these are often the same people who are supporting the ban on Roe v. Wade, saying no abortions protects the rights of embryos to life. One has to wonder why they don't care what happens to them or their families after they are actually born and officially citizens of this country? Matters of health, education, poverty, food, and mere existence don't matter once they are born, apparently--the poor and the challenged are responsible for their own situation, the same classicist nonsense the rich have espoused for years to alleviate themselves of any societal responsibilities. The pride with which certain candidates state they don't make any exceptions in abortion cases is particularly alarming--as if their cruel insensitivity to rape and incest victims is a badge of honor. Plus, Heaven help these new offspring if they are gay, transgender, or simply different from their neighbors. States such as Florida gleefully traumatizes them. States such as Texas incentivize people to squeal on anyone who is involved in the process of abortion--even the cab driver who drove someone to a procedure. In short, there is this strong move to cede power to those who want all to do as they say, regardless of what they do. It is a "ride 'em, Cowboy" lawless mentality that reflects Americans at their lowest ebb, all while hypocritically hiding under a guise of moral nobility.

No one really wants to have an abortion. No one really wants to take away guns from sensible, responsible, properly trained and licensed owners. Yet those who proselytize these myths seem oblivious to the reality of their fellow Americans. Indeed, the rest of us are not even part of their picture of America--which is missing the point of how and why this country was started in the first place. While claiming their rights as Americans, they are actually in denial of how Americans were meant to be defined. They are being insensitive in terms of race, religion, sexuality, and gender. And worst of all, they are not willing to view their own responsibilities as American citizens to take care of their fellows--as if we are their property, claimed from a sub-species.

We've fought wars over this. Our armed forces have sacrificed their lives for this. We battled Nazis and Fascists--yet somehow it is now bad to be Anti-Fascist--that to be ANTIFA is horrible and UN-American. This implies that Fascism, the barbaric bullying of those who think their money is greener and their excrement smells sweeter, is meant to be the proud banner of United States identity. Again, this is completely missing the points established when this country was begun. This attitude has no place in a democratic society.

Even those who say they support law and order fail to protect those charged with protecting us, leaving police to be out manned and outgunned. It is absurd that those sworn to protect us are under equipped. (The most sensible cure, of course, is to lower the overall number of guns, or at least put the guns in the hands of those officially deputized to use them.) It is absurd that our teachers are now supposed to carry weapons and be vigilant for crazed shooters, all while teaching (and at ridiculously low salaries no less). It is absurd that those who cannot tend or care for a child properly should have to cross state lines or, worse, go back to unsafe procedures when they are in fact trying to be responsible in the face of life's most painful decision.

It is time to stop the crazy. And it begins with our votes. Bullies only thrive when they are not stood up to. It is time for each of us to commit to the country we believe in--one that is kinder, gentler, and definitely more intelligent than the one we are occupying now.

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